The Deuce (TV series)

Last updated on 26 September 2017

The Deuce is an American drama television series set in and around Times Square, New York in the early 1970s. Created and written by author and former police reporter David Simon and his frequent collaborator George Pelecanos, the series pilot began shooting in October 2015. It was picked up to series in January 2016.[1] It is broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States. The first season consists of eight episodes. HBO made the pilot available through its video on demand services and affiliate portals on August 25, 2017.[2] The series premiered on September 10, 2017.[3][4]

The Deuce tells the story of the legalization and ensuing rise of the porn industry in New York beginning in the 1970s. Themes explored include the violence of the drug epidemic and the resulting real estate booms and busts that coincided with the change. The show's title is derived from the nickname for 42nd Street between Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue.[5][6]

On September 19, 2017, HBO renewed the series for a second season.[7]

The Deuce.png
The Deuce.png

Premise

In New York, the violence of the drug epidemic is worsening. Twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino become fronts for the Mob while operating out of Times Square, which is also the home of "Candy," a sex worker who turns to the now legal emerging porn industry.

Conception

Marc Henry Johnson, an assistant locations manager on Treme, introduced Simon and Pelecanos to a man in New York who told them vivid accounts from his stint as a mob front for bars and massage parlors in 1970s Manhattan. "The characters were so rich, and that's what it all comes down to," said Pelecanos. Inspired by these stories, the producers set out to present a fictional account of the era. "Some of it happened," said Simon. "Some of it didn't happen. Some of it might have happened. But all of it could have happened."[8]

Cast

Main

  • James Franco as Vincent Martino and Frankie Martino, twin brothers operating out of Times Square who become fronts for the Mob.[1]
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal as Eileen "Candy" Merrell, a Times Square sex worker with an entrepreneurial spirit who is drawn into the emerging pornography industry.[9]
  • Gbenga Akinnagbe as Larry Brown, an intense and demanding pimp who physically intimidates his stable of women but also has moments that betray a conflicted, underlying humanity.[10]
  • Chris Bauer as Bobby Dwyer, Vincent and Frankie Martino’s brother-in-law, a construction foreman and family man whose eyes are opened by their adventures along the Deuce.[10]
  • Gary Carr as C.C., an affable but ruthless pimp.[4]
  • Chris Coy as Paul Hendrickson, a kindred spirit to Vincent Martino and a veteran bartender who pursues his own personal and professional ambitions in the emerging gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual community of '70s New York.[11]
  • Dominique Fishback as Darlene, a young, sweet-natured prostitute who's trying to survive on the street while under the thumb of a volatile, violent pimp.[12]
  • Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Chris Alston, an NYPD patrolman.[12]
  • Margarita Levieva as Abigail "Abby" Parker, an adventurous college student who strikes up a relationship with Vincent.[12]
  • Emily Meade as Lori, a young woman newly arrived to New York City from Minnesota.[1]
  • Natalie Paul as Sandra Washington, a newspaper reporter who's investigating the Times Square sex industry.[13]
  • Michael Rispoli as Rudy Pipilo, a Gambino family capo who oversees the Mob's financial interests in the sex business.[13]

Recurring

  • Pernell Walker as Ruby "Thunder Thighs", an opinionated sex worker who embodies her unorthodox aesthetics and works to survive, rather than to provoke sensationalism.[14]
  • Method Man as Rodney
  • Daniel Sauli as Tommy Longo
  • David Krumholtz as Harvey Wasserman[15]
  • Don Harvey as Danny Flanagan[4]
  • Mustafa Shakir as Big Mike, a man of few words, a physically imposing loner who becomes Vincent’s primary muscle and fiercely devoted friend.[11]
  • Anwan Glover as Leon[1]
  • Jamie Neumann as Ashley[4]
  • Ralph Macchio as Officer Haddix, a jaded vice cop patrolling Times Square in the corrupt police force of 1970s New York.[16]
  • Zoe Kazan[17] as Andrea, Vincent's wife
  • James Ciccone as Carmine Patriccia, a mob underboss who works out of a Mulberry Street street social club and is one big rung above Rudy Pipilo.
  • Garry Pastore as Matthew Ianniello, the Genovese Family crime boss who ran the Times Square porn industry during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Finn Robbins as Adam, Candy's son who lives with Candy's mother.
  • Gino Vento as Carlos, driver and bodyguard for mobster Rudy Pipilo.
  • Aaron Dean Eisenberg as Todd Lang, a classically trained, but starving actor, Todd has had a few successes. To make ends meet, he starts acting in a few porn films, and quickly finds a home. For now.

Episodes

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" Michelle MacLaren David Simon & George Pelecanos August 25, 2017 (2017-08-25) (online)
September 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) (HBO)
0.830[18]
2 "Show and Prove" Ernest Dickerson Richard Price & George Pelecanos September 17, 2017 (2017-09-17) 0.839[19]
3 "The Principle Is All" James Franco David Simon & Richard Price September 24, 2017 (2017-09-24) 0.992[20]
4 "I See Money"[21] Alex Hall Story by: George Pelecanos and Lisa Lutz
Teleplay by: Lisa Lutz
October 1, 2017 (2017-10-01) TBD
5 "What Kind of Bad?"[22] Uta Briesewitz Story by: Richard Price
Teleplay by: Will Ralston & Chris Yakaitis
October 8, 2017 (2017-10-08) TBD
6 "Why Me?"[23] Roxann Dawson Story by: Richard Price and Marc Henry Johnson
Teleplay by: Marc Henry Johnson
October 15, 2017 (2017-10-15) TBD
7 "Au Reservoir"[24] James Franco Story by: David Simon and Megan Abbott
Teleplay by: Megan Abbott
October 22, 2017 (2017-10-22) TBD
8 "My Name Is Ruby"[25] Michelle MacLaren David Simon & George Pelecanos October 29, 2017 (2017-10-29) TBD

Reception

Critical response

The Deuce has received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, it has a score of 86 out of 100 based on 34 reviews.[27] On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 8.47 out of 10 based on 56 reviews. The site's critical consensus is, "The Deuce again demonstrates David Simon's masterful grasp of urban grit, while never losing detailed sight of its colorful characters."[28]

Daniel Fienberg of The Hollywood Reporter gave it a highly positive review, praising its ensemble cast, and wrote in conclusion, "Simon and Pelecanos are just beginning to put the machinery of The Deuce into motion in these eight episodes. As an opening act, the show's first season is substantive, provocative and entertaining."[29] Charles Bramesco of The Guardian gave it a five star review and wrote, "Simon has created his most accessible work of humanism to date, and he's done so without sacrificing his loftier ambitions of societal critique."[30]

Ratings

The premiere episode received 830,000 viewers on HBO for its initial airing and additional 342,000 viewers for its encore later that night, on September 10, 2017. The episode was previously made available online through on-demand and HBO Go on August 25 and received 1.1 million viewers. Cumulatively, through all platforms, the episode received 2.2 million viewers.[18]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Goldberg, Lesley (January 19, 2016). "David Simon's HBO Porn Drama Starring James Franco Picked Up to Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ Malone, Michael (August 24, 2017). "HBO Offers ‘The Deuce’ Early for Subscribers". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  3. ^ Offenhartz, Jake (August 26, 2017). "HBO Drops 'The Deuce' Series Premiere Two Weeks Ahead Of Schedule". Gothamist. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d "James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal Star in HBO Drama Series "The Deuce," Created by David Simon and George Pelecanos, Debuting Sept. 10" (Press release). HBO. July 26, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  5. ^ Jerilou Hammett; Kingsley Hammett, eds. (2007). Suburbanization of New York: Is the World's Greatest City Becoming Just Another Town?. Princeton Architectural Press.
  6. ^ Rose, Lacey (August 6, 2015). "HBO Orders Two David Simon Pilots, James Franco to Star In Porn Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 10, 2017.
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (September 19, 2017). "'The Deuce’ Renewed For Season 2 At HBO". Deadline. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  8. ^ Barry, Dan (August 24, 2017). "‘The Deuce’ Recalls Sex and Sleaze in 1970s Times Square". The New York Times. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  9. ^ Rose, Lacey (September 24, 2015). "Maggie Gyllenhaal to Star in David Simon's HBO Porn Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Petski, Denise (June 21, 2016). "‘The Deuce’ HBO Series Adds Chris Bauer & Gbenga Akinnagbe As Regulars". Deadline. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 16, 2016). "‘The Deuce’ HBO Series Adds Chris Coy As Regular". Deadline. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2015). "Margarita Levieva To Star In HBO Drama Pilot ‘The Deuce’; Two Others Cast". Deadline. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (June 8, 2016). "Michael Rispoli & Natalie Paul Join HBO New Drama Series ‘Deuce’ As Regulars". Deadline. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  14. ^ "Meet Pernell Walker aka Thunder Thighs". YouTube. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  15. ^ Suri, Sameer (September 4, 2016). "Maggie Gyllenhaal films James Franco's HBO series The Deuce in NYC". Mail Online. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  16. ^ Petski, Denise (June 24, 2016). "‘Scream Queens’ Casts James Earl; ‘The Deuce’ Adds Ralph Macchio". Deadline. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 11, 2015). "Zoe Kazan To Star In Lena Dunham HBO Comedy Pilot ‘Max’ In Recasting". Deadline. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  18. ^ a b Porter, Rick (September 13, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: ‘The Deuce’ starts off on par with ‘The Night Of’". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  19. ^ Porter, Rick (September 19, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: ‘Outlander’ and ‘The Deuce’ steady with second episodes". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 19, 2017.
  20. ^ Porter, Rick (September 26, 2017). "Sunday cable ratings: ‘Outlander’ hits total-viewer high, ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ ticks up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  21. ^ "Episode Title: (#04/104) "I See Money"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  22. ^ "Episode Title: (#05/105) "What Kind of Bad?"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  23. ^ "Episode Title: (#06/106) "Why Me?"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  24. ^ "Episode Title: (#07/107) "Au Reservoir?"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  25. ^ "Episode Title: (#08/108) "My Name Is Ruby"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  26. ^ Herman, Alison (June 9, 2017). "How Michelle MacLaren Brought ‘The Deuce’ to Life". The Ringer. Retrieved September 7, 2017.
  27. ^ "The Deuce : Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  28. ^ "The Deuce: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
  29. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (August 25, 2017). "'The Deuce': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
  30. ^ Bramesco, Charles (August 28, 2017). "The Deuce review – David Simon's 70s porn saga is a dazzling achievement". The Guardian. Retrieved September 1, 2017.

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